Leads are without a doubt the heart of sales and marketing. Without leads, you can’t make sales, and without sales, well— we don’t like to think about that. Leads are tricky — if they’re not done right, they can become very expensive, time-consuming and may not get your agency the results they are looking for.
Lead Generation is about creating something of value for customers in order to properly position yourself in the minds of potential customers. Turn customer interest into customer action— you give them value, and in turn, they give you their personal information.
There are endless ways to generate leads, but in order for you to be an expert, you should get comfortable with the basics. Read on for five lead generation strategies to grow your agency. Or, download The Fundamental Guide to Lead Generation to unlock 39 in-depth strategies that you can deploy today.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead Generation in essence is bringing in prospective customers. It means creating value to attract and convert your audience, and motivating them to declare an interest in your company.
Declaring their interest could be anything from a mention on social, giving you their email address, or completing a demo request form. After you have access to their information, you can then start the lead qualifying process.
Don’t get Lead Generation confused with demand generation— you can have lots of web traffic, but without access to their information, you’re not generating leads.
Importance of Lead Generation
- Do you like having revenue?
- Do you like having customers?
If you answered yes to both of these questions (which I’m 99.9% positive you did), then you need to have at the very least some grasp on what lead generation is and how to do it. We know leads run the business, so let’s skip the chatter and move onto qualifying these leads.
Lead Generation Strategies
If I go around telling people I generate leads through Content Marketing, people’s eyes start glazing over with confusion. Content Marketing essentially means creating attractive content to raise brand awareness, increase engagements, and promote your business offerings. Plenty of agencies can create content, but the tough part is making it relevant.
4 Types of Content Marketing:
- Content Downloads
Content downloads can come in many forms including guides, checklists, templates, and much more. If you’re writing about social media KPIs, try creating a Social Media Reporting Template, or if you’re writing about Email Campaign’s, create a fun checklist to go along with it!
- Case Studies
Creating a case study is a great way to prove the benefits of your products and services with real clients. Some businesses are desperate to find the best secrets to rise in their industry. For example, if you’re a social media agency, consider creating a case study about how you helped ‘X business used Instagram ads to improve their ROI by X percentage’. For clients to see a case that is relevant to their business is going to peak their interest and prove your validity.
Video is an effective way to get 66% more qualified leads per year. At this point in the game, marketer’s should know that video is an incredibly effective way to generate leads. Be aware of the positive effect it’ll have on your ROI. Videos can be anything from instructional videos, new product videos, product walk-throughs, or top tips and advice.
If you want your audience to remember you over your competition, infographics can be a great way to be recognized by your audience. If someone simply hears information, they will only remember 10% of that information 3 days later, versus if that information is paired with an image, they are likely to remember 65% of it three days later. You can generate leads through infographics by linking them inside your blog posts, which will take the reader back to your website or landing page of your choice and get them to spend more time on your site!
Creating a company blog has almost become a necessity if you want to compete with other agencies. Corporate blogging is a great way to establish your agency as a thought leader and offer valuable information and insights to your audience. The 2016 Demand Gen Report states that 47% of buyers will view 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, and with that percentage on the rise, you’re going to want to start writing.
4 Tips for Blogging:
- Keyword Research
Conducting keyword research based on your topic is going to have great SEO benefits and help you attract great leads organically. Doing this before you write is going to help your blog rank competitively against the sea of other blogs that are out there. Try out a helpful keyword tool like kwfinder, KeywordKeg or Longtailpro!
- Link Content Downloads
Offering another level of value will go a long way in differentiating yourself from other blogs. By offering a checklist, a template, or other exclusive content, you’ll spike the interest of your audience and collect their information in order to start building that relationship with you. If you don’t already have a pop-up plug-in, try OptinMonster — Encourage your readers to take that extra step!
- Promote Your Blog
Don’t be afraid to post your blog post everywhere and anywhere. The more places you can post your blog, the more traffic your website will gain in the process. In addition to your own promoting techniques, try posting to blogger websites like Medium, Zest, and Digg!
- Use in-text CTA's
Your CTA (Call-to-Action) is ultimately how someone in your audience will turn into an actual lead. Your CTA needs to be something eye-catching such as a banner that prompts readers to input their email and take them to a landing page with exclusive content or a calendar form to book a demo!
The ideal scenario here is a stranger comes to your website because they need help with their business, they look at your products and services, it peaks their interest, and they take action. Having an attractive and easy-to-navigate website will be key to boosting your lead conversion rates.
4 Tips for Web Presence:
- Service Page
Your service page is arguably the most important page of your website— and the most looked at. To get the most leads possible, ensure your service page has:
- Clear description of products and services
- Instructional videos or demo video
- Examples and statistics
- FAQ Page
How great would it be if you could offer answers to questions before people have a chance to ask? That’s exactly why you need a FAQ page. Your prospects are bound to have questions about your products and services. You can try your best to answer them over the phone or even through blog content, but the best possible way is to put the answers right in front of them, right where they would look. Doing this will start building trust with your audience while saving you time. and potentially turn them into a paying customer in the near future.
- About Page
Your About Page will allow your audience to get to know your agency and why you’re the best for them to grow their business. Ensure to credibility measure like why you’re in this business, how long you’ve been doing it, why your service matters, and why you’re the best. Show yourself off! Don’t be too modest, showcase your awards, achievements, and any great customer testimonials you’ve received.
TIP: Throw up some awesome team pictures with names and job titles— people will be happy to know there are real faces behind the screen and phone calls!
- Use FOMO to your Advantage
FOMO, or Fear-Of-Missing-Out, is a real thing. Some of you probably don’t know how this relates to Lead Generation. Let’s put it together. It’s a known fact that people often show more desire for something once others have it. For example, add a slide-in pop-up on your website showing when someone has booked a demo with your company. When others are looking through your website, your pop-up won’t b able to go unnoticed. Because they see others requesting demos, it’s demonstrating a high demand for your product, and people will be more inclined to request a demo for themselves.
Social Media Marketing
86% of B2B marketers consider Facebook to be a crucial part of their marketing efforts, but that alone won’t do the trick. Social media marketing is more than Facebook boosting; it is your entire online social presence that makes up your social image. Engagement is key; create a detailed bio, coordinate your graphics, stick to your aesthetic, use hashtags, and engage with your audience.
4 Social Media Tips:
To start generating leads through your twitter account it’s important that your profile allows leads to convert easily. Ensure you have a visible website link or blog link and a branded cover photo. Using Twitter to promote your content will help to drive leads more towards your content library, blog posts, case studies, webinars etc. Twitter advanced search will allow you to find out what people are talking about in your industry and show topics relevant to you. Twitter can also be a great place to develop your brand personality and tone.
Facebook is a great platform to advertise your products and services through boosted content and advertisements. Facebook allows you to pick your desired target audience based on a variety of characteristics such as age, region, job title, and interests, for which you can use your CRM data to create your ideal targeted segment. Your Facebook page is a great place to post your top-performing blog posts, new offers linking to your landing page, informational videos, and images linking back to your website.
The LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool allows businesses to narrow their such to find their ideal customer profile and build solid customer lists full of potential leads. LinkedIn will help you to find the right decision-makers in your audience who have the power to say yes to your products and services. LinkedIn also offers LeadGen Forms which will allow members to easily send you their information, track your campaigns cost/lead, show your number of leads brought in, and lastly will connect with your CRM tool of choice.
- Question Forums
Question forums are often underrated as a lead generation tool. Many question forums offer an opportunity to show yourself as an industry leader, provide valuable information, and promote your website/blog link for readers to learn more. Quora forums can be a valuable resource to answer prospect questions and peak their interest.
Some people think email is a way of the past, but email marketing has an ROI of 3800%, approximately $38 return for every $1 spent. Email is tricky— something small such as a subject line could be the difference between an email hitting the trash or an email generating a lead. .
4 Tips for Email Marketing:
- A/B Split Testing
Split testing your emails allows you to send two variations of the same email campaign by only changing one aspect of one of your emails, and then testing performance against each other. By performing split testing, you can determine which part of your campaign is causing low-open rates and/or poor click-through rates, ultimately improving your Lead Generation.
- Create Drip Campaigns
A drip campaign can be created through an email automation tool that automatically sends emails to prospects once they download your content. This helps the prospecting process by helping you nurture your leads with new and valuable content when they are engaging. Drip campaigns are a series that will only continue to be delivered if the receiver opens the email.
- Always Provide Value
One of the most important parts about emailing prospects is that you need to be providing something of value to them. Not sure what exactly your prospects value? This is where the Snapshot Report comes in handy. We recommend sending a free Snapshot Report of your prospects online business, showing them areas where they are skilled, and other areas where they lack. This will help to demonstrate the value you can provide for them. Analyze your audience and choose your call-to-action based on what your audience sees as valuable.
- Provide Easy Conversion
If you are sending email campaigns to prospects, you need to have a call-to-action or an ask. What are you hoping they do after reading your email? Consider options like a free-sign up button, product upgrades, information on new products, new deals, or downloading your content. Don’t forget to ensure your emails are in a mobile-friendly format!
Check out how you can start learning about email with Vendasta!
How to Qualify Leads
Once you have brought in your leads, it’s important to sort through which ones are of value. To ensure only the best leads are moving to sales, you first have to know how to qualify your leads. If marketing is passing a lead to a sales rep, the lead needs to have certain characteristics that give them potential to be paying customer (if not, sales is not going to be thrilled and here comes the whole issue of sales and marketing alignment).
Think of qualifying leads like online dating (yes I know, but bear with me). Most people have qualities in mind that may be a necessity when choosing a partner such as funny, smart, adventurous...etc., and you’ll definitely be checking someone’s profile for indicators of these things. Well, leads are really not so different. You judge a lead based on the information that is presented to you. Know what you’re looking for, that way you can quickly assess leads and decide if they have potential.
Ask yourself, Who is my ideal customer?, and start going after them.
- How many customers do they have?
- What industry are they in?
- Do they have valid contact information? (If their number is 123-456-7890, don’t waste our time)
- How did they convert as a lead?
- What do they need your help with?
Create your personalized Buyer Persona here!
These lead generation tips are a great place to start your journey to abundant lead generation. By getting a grasp on areas such as social media, email, website presence, and content marketing, you’ll create a great foundation for your future growth.
Lead Generation is not something that you can be perfect at, nor can you go without making a few mistakes. The only way to truly figure out what will work best for your agency is going to be testing, testing, and well, more testing! If you're ready to take the next steps and start launching proven lead generation programs at your business, then download our free 300-page guide today!